- My period is heavier and longer than usual.
- This month I’ve started having really bad hormonal acne along my jawline.
- I missed the office party because of my cramps.
During the holidays lots of women experience worsened menstrual symptoms. That’s because the holidays are awful for hormones.
How the holidays throw your hormones out of whack
More sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, stress and out of routine activities does a major number on our endocrine system.
Our endocrine system is the control center of our hormones. Each hormone has specific functions in the body but the main goal of all hormones is to act in tandem to maintain homeostasis in the body. When one function is out of balance others are soon affected.
Excess hormones act as a toxin to be expelled. This puts a burden on the liver (our major detox organ) and as a result you experience more symptoms around your period.
If you want to start 2018 off strong, not recovering, pay attention to the choices you make this month.
Here are my top holiday hacks for balanced hormones.
Eat Smart to Balance Hunger Hormones
Have you ever given thought to what is hunger? Hunger is a result of the complex chemistry of numerous hormones that have the ability to override our 'willpower' and drive us to eat.
Food is the name of the game during the holidays. This is the time of year when you come face to face with the delicious holiday meals and treats that you wait all year to have. I’m looking at you grandma’s apple pie.
And to be quite honest — there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy them!
Here are a couple of tips and tweaks so that you can have your cake and eat it too!
- Do not go to holiday events hungry : We have a saying where I come from: ‘Never leave home with your belly in your hand’ Which basically means do not leave home hungry. Showing up at a holiday event hungry is a recipe for disaster. Be sure to have a healthy bite to eat before leaving home to avoid overfilling your plate and gauging on all the food in sight.
- Indulge with balance : Instead of throwing caution to the wind and jumping in head first, be sure to focus on enjoying just your absolute favourites. Fill the majority of your plate with healthy choices, and indulge without guilt on those favourite items.
- Be prepared : Long lines everywhere, bumper to bumper traffic... you never know when you'll get held up so be prepared! Raw nuts, fruit and veggies make a great snack. Not in the mood for any of those? Then you're probably bored not hungry.
Be good to yourself to balance stress hormones
Make time for self care
Create a holiday self care list. Find something that truly nourishes and relaxes you and make time for it. This could be as simple as committing to an epsom salts bath 3 times a week.
Start your day off right
Before you get out of bed each morning take a few minutes to set your intentions for the day and appreciate something you’re grateful for in your life.
Remember what’s important
With all of the parties, shopping and cooking it's easy to forget the reason for the season. Make it a priority to remember and appreciate what’s truly important this and every season!
Do you have everything (meals, parties, gifts, etc) prepared ahead of time? To avoid the stress of last minute decision making — go ahead and put these things in order now. Organise event schedules, grocery shopping lists etc so that you're not running around like a headless chicken when the time comes.
Make it fun
Do you enjoy gift wrapping? I don't! To make these tasks as delightful as possible you could take the opportunity to enjoy your favourite holiday movie with a cup of hot chocolate while you wrap. This way you'll look forward to gift wrapping and do so with much more gratification.
If you struggle with an absurd amount of stress due to your finances you are ultimately sabotaging your health. There is no need to go into debt to provide gifts for your loved ones. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Homemade items make memorable gifts that are sure to be cherished. Also consider having your gift budget in cash so that you can keep a closer eye on where you're spending and how much you have left.
Move your body
With the busy nature of this season, many find it hard to commit to hitting the gym several times a week. Instead of having an ‘all or nothing’ attitude about your physical health fit whatever exercise you can into your schedule. Every little counts! Can you commit to after-dinner walks, or a 15 minute yoga routine? Find what works for you, do what you enjoy best, and schedule it in.
The holidays are a joyous time of year. With these simple tips and tricks you are sure to not only survive but thrive!
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